Walking Poem

by Jan Harris



there are mornings when your dog doesn’t want
to walk and you see a purple flower and think of
Mary Oliver and the time you saw her walking her
dog as you looked out the gym window and you
wanted to drop the weights and run through
the snowy parking lot and out onto the road to
bow down in adulation oh Mary Oliver that she
should exist that she should walk her dog that
the light did not curtsy before her and the traffic
did not stop you thought but you did not run into
the street or cry out at the wonder of Mary Oliver
walking down the road as she would have cried
at the glory of the snowy parking lot and walking
her dog and your neighbor’s purple flowers that
you noticed this morning in that blanket of humidity
when your dog didn’t want to walk when unlike Mary
Oliver you could find no wonder in any of it except
that you almost could feel Mary Oliver’s joy at the
miracle that flowers exist at the miracle of your
stubborn dog who is so like you resistant and
demonstrative in the face of summer’s radiating love



Dr. Jan Elaine Harris is an Associate Professor of English and Writing at Lipscomb University. She also serves as the Creative Writing Instructor at Vanderbilt Summer Academy. Six poems from her collection in progress, Voyager, were featured in Waxing and Waning’s Fall 2017 Issue. She has given readings of her work at SCMLA (2017), PCA/ACA (2018), and RMMLA (2018). One of her poems was featured on Spokane’s Public Radio in February 2018. Other poems have appeared in Anthology and Event.

Back to Vol. IV: “Wonder”